In the Christian calendar, Maundy Thursday (also called Holy Thursday) is the Thursday before Easter.
The Middle English word Maundy, used only in this context, derives from Old French mandé from Latin mandatum novum do vobis "a new commandment I give unto you" Love one another as I have loved you (John xiii:34), words spoken by Jesus to the Apostles after washing their feet in preparation for The Last Supper. Foot washing is increasingly popular as a part of Maundy Thursday liturgies in many churches.
The day has also been known as Sheer Thursday, due to the idea that it is the day of cleaning (schere) and because the churches themselves would switch liturgical colors from the dark tones of Lent. This name is a cognate to the word still used throughout Scandinavia, such as Swedish "Skärtorsdag".
Outside English-speaking countries and in the Roman Catholic Church, it is known as Holy Thursday.
In the United Kingdom, the monarch traditionally distributes Maundy money.